UK/February 28, 2022/By Will Hazell/Source: https://inews.co.uk/
British private schools are grappling with the fallout of the invasion on their pupils from Ukraine and Russia
Ukranian pupils at British private schools have been left devastated by Vladimir Putin’s invasion of their homeland while Russian pupils are “terrified” of being ostracised by their peers, i has been told.
British private schools are grappling with the fallout of the invasion on their international pupils, with some schools having Russian and Ukranian children in the same classrooms.
According to a census by the Independent Schools Council, there were 2,327 Russian pupils at its member schools in 2021. Of these children, 56 per cent had parents overseas. The number of Ukranian pupils was not reported.
At one private school with both Ukranian and Russian children, the headteacher was doing the rounds at the breakfast hall on Friday morning because they were concerned about the welfare of pupils.
The Ukranian pupils were “very upset”, while Russian children were “terrified that nobody will speak to them”, i was told.
The school’s British children and those of other nationalities were said to be “fearful” about the invasion.
Barnaby Lenon, the former headmaster of Harrow School and the chair of the Independent School Council, told i: “Whenever there’s a problem in another country, what our schools are thinking about principally is pastoral care for those children.
“It’s very important to ensure that those children are receiving the best possible care, especially if they’re worrying about their own parents,” he said.
“It’s not always easy for the schools to get accurate information, but nevertheless they have to try to do that.”
Andrew Lewer, the Conservative MP who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Independent Education, said: “Independent schools with Russian pupils will often have Ukranian pupils as well and will be working to support them in this horrifying time.”
Simon Hyde, the general secretary of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference group of private schools: said: “Heads in HMC schools are concerned about the welfare of all students, but particularly at this time those from Ukraine and the region, as well as those with family and friends working in the area.”
“Additional pastoral support will be provided as necessary,” he added.
Robin Fletcher, the chief executive of the Boarding Schools Association, said: “BSA member schools continue to provide excellent pastoral care and support for over 24,000 students from across the world, including Russia, Ukraine and surrounding areas.
“Clearly this is a very difficult time and we are communicating with the Government to get clarity on areas such as visas, travel arrangements and sanctions.”